Review: An Amish Winter

An Amish Winter: Home Sweet Home, A Christmas Visitor, When Winter Comes

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Home)

Down on their luck and desperate after being evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadi haus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

(Previously published in An Amish Christmas Gift)

Frannie Mast knows her parents have good intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case.

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

(Previously published in An Amish Gathering)

It’s been too long since Rebecca put on her skates and flew across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. Ben has waited for her all that time, and at last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Winter is a heartfelt Amish collection of stories. I could not stop reading this book. Each tale grabbed my full attention. I was inspired. Especially, the one couple who were not Amish yet were relying heavily on that community for help. No home, no money, and barely any items of their own, a young couple struggle daily. But it’s their love and faith in each other that helps pull them through. The Amish friends encouraged them in prayer, faith, and love. It was one of the most beautiful parts in this collection. Sweet, entertaining, and emotionally charged, this group of writers, have a way with words. Overall, I highly recommend reading, An Amish Winter.

 

Review: An Amish Homecoming

An Amish Homecoming

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home  by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns  by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love  by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Homecoming is a wonderful collection of four novellas. These Amish stories have captured my heart and soul. Each writer has infused a different lesson to be learned in her story. It was entertaining to follow the characters as the followed their hearts and dreams. Challenges were presented in a way that felt real. I also felt like I was a member of the Amish communities inside this collection. There is plenty of humor, faith, and love to explore here. The writers have brought the lost, the grieving, and the hurt together. It was an awe inspiring journey in each part of this book. Overall, I enjoyed reading An Amish Homecoming and recommend it to all.

 

Review: The Distant Sound of Thunder

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Distant Sound of Thunder by Jan Drexler gives an insider’s view to the realities of an Amish lifestyle. The people are forbidden to live like the outsiders. Violence is not their way of life. However, a young Amish man wants to serve in the military. But he has decisions to make. He has a young Amish woman waiting for his hand in marriage and he has to follow the community rules. Despite what his community says, young Jonas enlists in the army in his brother’s place. I was amazed at the young man’s courage and bravery. He steps up to serve his country and at the same time manages a way to follow his faith. Jan Drexler offers a clean Christian read full of emotions. I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: A Place of His Own

Place of His Own

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Josiah left Paradise the first time, he didn’t even say good-bye. Now he’s back, ten years later, and he’s changed. Why is he so distant and bitter? Where is the boy who used to be Amanda’s best friend? Amanda is learning that there are things even a capable Amish girl can’t fix. But can she stand there and watch him walk away . . . again?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller is a sad but beautifully written story. I cried a lot throughout this short story. I felt Josiah’s pain, anger, and loss. He lost his mother due to cancer, his father was full of anger and beat him constantly. The father was also a drunk who took Josiah away from the community and girl he loved. Now, as an adult, Josiah returns. Full of bad memories, hurt, and a need to be loved again. He tries pushing away his emotions. But he never expected his crush to turn into the beautiful woman she is. Still stubborn, kind, and full of life, Amanda wants to reach out and soothe Josiah’s pain. She knows only God can help him heal. But she also plays a major role in helping her friend heal and accept faith again. I enjoyed reading this book. Overall, I would highly recommend it to all.

 

Review: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart (An Amish Gathering)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “A Change of Heart” is one novella from this collection.

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening—the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she’s sincerely tired of being a disappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt story. It is full of faith, family, love, and humor. The main characters have a lot to learn yet but they also ended up teaching me a few lessons. Differences can make the community better and not worse. A young Amish woman is a great story writer. Yet it’s not looked upon as a something to achieve. Yet she somehow continues to inspire her readers and spread the love of her faith. I was amazed at the young woman’s strength.

Then, there is the young Amish man who has loved her ever since school days. He never gave up hope. Overcoming his shy ways, he is determined to make her notice him. He starts by making a deal with her. I’ll read your book if you attend events with me. Simple, friendly, and charming…the events and book talk only bring the two closer.

Both blossom into an unknown territory of love and friendship. Sometimes, being a friend can help grow the foundation of a relationship. I loved how clean and entertaining this Amish fiction novel was. I could not stop reading it. Beth Wiseman has once again, cleverly caught my full attention. Overall, I recommend it to all.

 

Review: The Healing by Linda Byler

The Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hopeful story of unexpected love in the midst of illness, pain, and family conflict

John is the youngest of seven boys and is constantly overshadowed by his big brothers who seem to all be stronger, smarter, and better looking than he is. As a teenager, he knows he’s overweight and is sure he’ll never be popular like his brothers are. But those struggles are nothing compared to the battle he is about to fight. After weeks of feeling exhausted, depressed, and achy, he has no idea what’s wrong with him and begins to wonder if he’ll be miserable for the rest of his life. By the time he is finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, his body is failing and his spirits are nearly at rock bottom.

John’s parents and brothers try to help him, but as weeks turn into months with no real sign of improvement, the illness begins to take its toll on all of them. Minor disagreements turn into angry fights and old hurts surface amidst uncertainty and exhaustion. The Amish family that was once so tightly knit is unraveling before John’s eyes.

When John’s older brother Samuel begins dating Lena Zook—John’s eighth grade teacher—he tries to be happy for them, but it’s hard not to feel jealous. With all his health issues, John figures he’ll be lucky if he makes it through rumschpringe at all; he doesn’t dare hope to date anyone as lovely and smart and fun as Lena is.

Determined not to continue burdening his family, John begins to discover a quiet inner strength, even as his body falters. Recovery seems far off, but he nurtures a glimmer of hope that God has not forgotten him. And is it his imagination, or is Lena starting to spend more time with him than she’s spending with Samuel? Torn between following his heart and the fear of tearing his family apart even more, John’s struggles seem to only get more complicated, even as that glimmer of hope fans into flame.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Healing by Linda Byler is a Christian novel that grabbed me in quickly. An Amish family once happy and fine, suffers. The youngest Amish boy is constantly picked on by his brothers. None of them understood what he was going through nor how he felt. I felt so much sympathy for John I wanted to hug him. But seeing as I couldn’t, all I could do was cheer and pray for him. His journey is one filled with sadness, shame, guilt, responsibility, and love. God is good. Themes of faith, family, and love are strong. The mother wanted to give up multiple times, when John was suffering. Yet, her husband never let her fall down from her faith. He kept strong holding her up despite the downfalls. I fell in love with the entire family. It was hard not to…I saw them at their best and their worst. No novel, I have read has quite shown me the realistic sides to an Amish family. No one is perfect. We all suffer. How we handle it is where we might differ. Overall, this novel tested my strength.

Review: Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is a heart melting tale. Two spouses have lost a loved one. They are still feeling the pain of their loss. To coupe they end up having conversations with their dead spouses. It was a bit heart breaking and understandable. No one wants to let go of someone they love. From there, the plot quickly turned interesting. It took just one stranger to bring two widowed people together. God is good. It showed that God has ways of bringing happiness to others. First, the kindness and understanding towards a stranger, and then their growing romance….Friendships have a way of evolving deeper, if we let them. In this case, I fell in love with the characters. I couldn’t help it. They had a way of pulling me in deeper. Sweet, engaging, and full of surprises, Through the Autumn Air is one wonderful Amish journey.

 

Review: Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman

Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Gift of Sisters 

Hannah and Rachel are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Rachel is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Rachel reunite after a devastating heartbreak?

A New Beginning 

Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.

A Perfect Plan  (previously published in An Amish Wedding)

Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?

A Christmas Miracle 

Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt collection of four inspirational stories. Each one with it’s own unique message. However, all four shared common themes such as family, faith, love, and friendship. The characters were both Amish and non-Amish. I loved how these tales showed that both groups can be friends despite their differences in faith. Beth Wiseman displayed the real accuracy of Amish living. From the rules to living out their faith, I was brought into each character’s life. I laughed, cried, and cheered for them. This set was an emotional journey that I highly recommend to all.

 

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Hubbard writes Amish stories with style and grace.”
–RT Book Reviews 

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times–and in the face of an unexpected homecoming. 

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts–blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer–not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some
bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Praise for A Simple Vow

“Charlotte Hubbard has a way of writing that draws you into the story from beginning to end.”
–Romance Junkies

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is a sweet Amish tale. There is plenty of trouble, intrigue, and emotion to keep the pages turning. A person runs from his  life only to head straight into another mess. Only this one leads his heart  into a bright future. But until he figures out his path, a lot of mischief and sadness follow him everywhere. Another young person, is dealing issues with her father. A secret that is eating up the family and soon tears them apart. Meeting each other, leads them to hope…and maybe, happiness. Charlotte Hubbard brings a warm heartfelt story to life. Her characters are open and inviting. It is easy to get lost within their journey. Themes such as forgiveness, family, and faith is inserted into this book. I am in love with the novel. Perfect, clean, and inspiring…to read. Overall, I recommend to all Christian readers. This Amish tale is must read.

 

Review: An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Family: An Amish Novella Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In An Amish Family, beloved author of Amish romance, Kathleen Fuller, invites readers into the lives of four Amish families.

Building Trust 

Grace Miller and Joel King are in love. They’ve dated secretly for the past year and when he proposes marriage, Grace eagerly agrees. But when she tells her parents about the wedding, she’s shocked when her father tells her she can’t marry Joel. Can Grace get to the bottom of her father’s animosity toward Joel so they can have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of?

A Heart Full of Love  (also in An Amish Cradle)

Ellie’s mother hasn’t stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight—and she’s taken it up a notch now that Ellie’s pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother’s behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why Mamm can’t let go.

Surprised by Love 

In a desperate move to evade her match-making mother, Emily Shwartz announces that she’s already seeing someone: Reuban Coblentz. The trouble is, Reuban is barely even a friend. Seeing how desperate she is, Reuban plays along. But when the past sneaks up on them, will this temporary arrangement turn into everlasting love?

A Gift for Anne Marie  (also in An Amish Second Christmas)

Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller is a wonderful anthology full of good Christian stories. Each story focuses on a lesson and they’re based on faith, love, and hope. Two of these short stories were previously published in other volumes. I enjoyed reading them all. They had a common theme and shared similar troubles. Love came in all many ways through each piece. Sweet, tender, and heartfelt…I felt a connection to all the of the characters. What I found most interesting what that in each new story, the focus on a female protagonist. Yes, there were strong male characters but it centered on the leading females. Everything they thought to what they did…moved the pages along. Overall, I found this collection engaging to read. I would recommend it to other readers.

Review: Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid is an emotional journey. It tugged at my heart strings all the way. Two young Amish people fell in love but things didn’t go as planned. Hurt and embarrassed, one of them runs away from their current life. Only this time, the other one isn’t going to give up…

Catherine loved Elijah until he hurt her emotionally. She has then moved on with her life. Currently romantically involved with another Amish man, Catherine has been waiting for love. What she doesn’t realize is that her heart was still with Elijah. Then, embarrassed by what happens to her next, she flees. Unexpectedly, Elijah meets her and from there the story grows complicated, heartbreaking, and sweet.

Elijah broke his love’s heart. Hoping to make mends…he finds that his love never ended for her. Just being with Catherine makes him happy. Things are going well, until tragedy strikes them both. Loss, grief, and forgiveness are major themes of this novel. I was so engaged in both characters’ lives I felt like I was there with them. They made me hope and cheer for them both. The ending was wonderful. I wasn’t disappointed with this read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all Christian readers.

Review: Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ever since her best friend died six months ago, Laura Reihl has vowed to make each day count. And that means she should probably break off her relationship with Rudy. They’ve been together for so many years, and his friendship means the world to her. But she knows friendship doesn’t come close to the fireworks of true love, and she’s not really feeling the fireworks.

So when Savilla’s widower, Allen, asks her to help him take care of the baby Savilla left behind, Laura jumps at the chance. Maybe the change of scenery will help her gain perspective on her relationship with Rudy. And she’d do anything to help Allen out—he’s always been a good friend to her, and he’s Rudy’s best friend as well.

When she arrives at Allen’s house, though, she finds a man she barely recognizes. Allen is distraught over his wife’s death, blaming himself for not taking her to the doctor soon enough.

As Laura helps Allen work through his grief, she remembers just how easy he is to talk to. And she discovers an attraction she’s never felt with Rudy. She can’t be falling for Allen, can she? It would be a betrayal to the two people she’s care most about, Savilla and Rudy. But if she denies her feelings, is she betraying herself?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston is a sweet, engaging, and heartfelt tale. An Amish journey that tugs at my heart strings. Amy Clipston knows how to engage readers, like me, into her world of fiction. I was in love with this story. It was so easy to relate to the protagonists that I couldn’t stop reading it. Their journey towards their future together was fun to follow.

Currently, Laura is attached to a young Amish man who would make any Amish woman happy. But she’s not feeling the sparks towards him at all. But she does feel them towards a man whom she should not be feelings these things with at all. She keeps telling herself and her boyfriend that she’s helping a friend in need. But Laura finds herself so deeply interested in her friend that she feels confused. Should love have instant sparks?

Allen lost his his wife and has a young baby to take care of…but when help arrives in the form of Laura, he cannot resist innsyaing yes. He needs all the help he can receive. However, as they spend more time together, their friendship starts to blossom in ways he did not expect.

A journey of discovery, love, and friendship are explored here. Room on the Porch Swing is the most engaging Christian piece of fiction that I have read. I loved the characters. Their stories are like reality. There will be loss, grief, and happiness mixed in together. Overall, I highly recommend this new tale to all.

Review: Words from the Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Ivy Yoder thought she had found the man she would marry, but she returns to her Amish community of Birch Creek with a broken heart. When a family friend asks for her help in cleaning out an attic, she’s grateful for the chance to get her mind off the betrayal.

Noah Schlabach is an Amish auctioneer and is eager to get into his aunt’s attic in search of lost treasures. He loves learning about the past, and he has created a thriving auction business for himself. When he meets Ivy, he suspects his aunt is trying to set them up, but all of that is forgotten when they come across a box of old love letters.

While Noah is more interested in potential auction items than love letters, Ivy is swept up in the story of the young couple. She’s also fighting her growing feelings for Noah—she can’t risk her heart again. But if there is one thing these young Amish people learn from the past, it’s that they must take hold of the gifts of today. With a little help from the letters, and a lot of help from God, Noah and Ivy begin to live in the present, full of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is a sweet and heartfelt journey. Two young Amish adults must learn what their hearts wants and where God leads them. Heartbreak is tough but builds the character. Somethings are meant and some are not mean to be. But unless they try, they won’t know.

Ivy loved another Amish man. Yet her love wasn’t returned. Ivy felt broken. Her heart shattered. Her first love destroyed her hope for a chance at love. But God has plans for her. However, she needs to listen with both her mind and her heart.

Noah is an interesting young Amish man. He is all about finding things to auction. Auctions business is what Noah does well. He soon has Ivy helping with auction stuff, and the more time they spend together the harder it is for him to not like her. Feelings grow along with faith and respect.

Kathleen Fuller has peaked my interest with this tale from the beginning. Her characters are realistic and easy to like. I felt like I was tagging along with them. Their troubles soon grow complex but not all things in life are easy. Ivy has to reopen her heart and that’s the toughest thing to do after having it broken…overall, I recommend this Amish novel to all.

Review: Beneath the Summer Sun

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry, and with two men pursuing her, she doesn’t have to look far. But after the pain she’s experienced, can she open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to shed her grief and remarry for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is it isn’t grief that’s holding her back, but rather a fear of a repeat of her abusive marriage.

Leo Graber has known–and loved–Jennie since they were children, and he’d hoped to court her when they were teenagers. But when he was fourteen, Paul’s father died suddenly in his arms. Ever since he’s been afraid of the searing pain of loss that comes from opening himself up to love. Now Jennie’s free again, and he’s fighting to have the courage not to lose her a second time.

Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman who makes it a point to stop by Jennie’s farm as often as he can. He’s grown to care for her, but he knows he has no right to court her unless he resolves his own struggle with his faith. He will have to change everything about his life in order to join the Jamesport Amish community. But would he be embracing a new life or running from his old?

The path isn’t clear for any of them. These three people, drawn together by circumstances and God’s plan, must come to grips with their pasts in order to discern God’s plan for their futures and find peace beneath the summer sun.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is an interesting tale. One full of faith, hope, and love. Three protagonists have their own dilemmas to face. The question of them being able to move forward and find happiness caught my attention. Pain, loss, and fear cloud the characters as they struggle to face their issues. Clean and heartfelt, I felt like I was there with the characters.

Kelly Irvin has created a believable plot. Jennie is scared to love again after her abusive marriage. But with all of her kids, she needs a man in her life. Nathan is looking for love too, but he struggles accepting his faith. He must first find that before he can love anyone. Leo like Jennie has faced a loss. He lost his father and struggled with wanting to save others especially Jennie. But his fear of not being able to save someone he loves has him stuck in a rut.

A love mess with two Christian men chasing after one widow, made me smile. It gave a shed of lightness to Jennie’s dark marriage and to Leo’s loss. Having a third character brought out a little more in Leo. It gave me more of the push he needed to go after Jennie. Jennie is super easy to connect to…her situation made her likable. She felt real. I really liked her.

Beneath the Summer Sun was a sweet journey. A path to finding oneself and one’s heart. Having faith helped these characters face their lives in the present. Slow but steady, I think these characters will have found what they’re looking for in life. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel.

Review: Amish Sweethearts

Synopsis:

Love is in the air in these four sweet romances!

Love and Buggy Rides  (previously published in An Amish Harvest)

Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

A Home for Lindsay

From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?

Where the Heart Is

Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.

Love Birds  (previously published in An Amish Market)

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston is a wonderful collection of four short stories. Each story has a powerful message and heartfelt connection. I enjoyed following each of these characters. Their journeys were hard and full of promise. Hope, faith, and love are major themes examined in each of these tales. Amy Clipston captured the Amish language and culture down perfectly. It was like being there physically experiencing all of the scenes firsthand.

In Love and Buggy Rides, I got to meet these characters again from a previous collection. Two young Amish adults find themselves facing their fears. An accident involving a buggy brings them together in ways they didn’t think would.

A Home for Lindsey was exciting. I got to meet with previous characters from another story. However, in this one, I got to follow along and see if there would be happy ending. Love is simple yet complicated. This tale made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. Amy Clipston never disappoints. I was intrigued.

Where the Heart Is, showed me that even though we think we know something, it turns out that there’s always more to the story than originally thought. Here, there was a lo of anger directed at a father from his son. Boundaries were explored and tested in this story. It was interesting to watch the rift between them men become less sows the pages fly by. A young woman helping the son find strength and hope. A sweet journey.

Love Birds was my most favorite. Here, two best friends lose their friendship over a misunderstanding. It takes a lot of work, patience, and forgiveness before these two can begin again. Plus, there’s the secret attraction one feels for the other. It made the plot more engaging.

Overall the Amish Sweethearts, is a clean romantic collection of novellas. Each one facing a different love issue. The struggles felt real. Amy Clipston beautifully wove these words into three-dimensional worlds. I loved the Christian feel good environment filled with sweet promises.

Review: A Place at Our Table

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Kayla Dienner has suffered her fair share of heartache, which is why she vows to protect her heart at all costs . . . until she meets Jamie Riehl.

Along with his volunteer work at the local fire department, running his Amish farm keeps Jamie Riehl busy. He barely has time to eat at the family table, never mind find someone to date. But when he meets Kayla Dienner, he is smitten.

Kayla tries hard to deny her attraction to Jamie. After all, she’s spent the last year discouraging her younger brother, Nathan, from becoming a firefighter. The death of their older brother in a fire a year ago is fresh in her mind—she can’t bear the idea of putting her heart on the line every time the sirens blare.

Then tragedy strikes, and Jamie wants to extinguish any flame between him and Kayla. Can Kayla set aside her own fears to save the love she was determined to deny?

The first book in the Amish Homestead series, A Place at Our Table invites us to a quiet community in Lancaster County where love burns brightly no matter the cost.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston is another satisfying read. Amy Clipston has done it again. Creating a tale that ignites heartwarming feelings and a thirst for more. Sweet and engaging from the beginning to end. I could not stop reading it. I have fallen in love with the Amish genre thanks to this writer. Her words are clean yet enticing. The characters are believable. And the plot rides smoothly.

A young woman lost a brother due to fire. Her younger sibling wants to be a fireman too. She tries with all of her heart to dissuade him of it. Then, there is a particular man who sparks her interest. Yet she is determined to keep away from him. Protecting her heart. Jamie is a firefighter. However, tragedy strikes and Kayla will have her heart put to the test.

Overall, I loved it. A Place at Our Table is tender, moving, and enjoyable. Lessons to be learned hidden inside…I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: The Amish Christmas Candle







Synopsis:

At the heart of winter’s darkness is the joyous glow of the Christmas season. In this love-filled holiday collection, warm yourself with the peaceful light of Plain gifts. 



SNOW SHINE ON ICE MOUNTAIN

Kelly Long

When staid Naomi Gish’s mischievous father hires strapping Gray Fisher at their candle shop for the season, she’s positive the old man has an ulterior motive. She doesn’t need help–but as Gray learns the craft of candle making, Naomi learns that love is not only possible, but God’s most precious gift.



A HONEYBEE CHRISTMAS

Jennifer Beckstrand

Of all the sacrifices Bitsy Kiem made to raise her three nieces Amish, giving up her Englisch life was the only thing she missed. With the girls married now, she has a chance to kick up her heels this Christmas–unless widowed Yost Weaver can convince her that Plain love is a flame that will never go out.



THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

Lisa Jones Baker

Blessing those in need at Christmastime is one of Lydia’s favorite traditions. But without her newly married sister’s help this year, the task seems daunting–until handsome Mennonite John King shows her that hands joined to do good may unite hearts, as well. 


Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Candle is a great collection. Not my overall favorite. The stories are more modern living than the Amish way of living. I did enjoy how each character found happiness, hope, love, and healing. 

Snow Shine on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is a sweet yet inspiring Amish romance. Two young people who learn what love really is. Gray realizes love is peace and he’s never felt peace with any other girl except for Naomi. Naomi is a bit older than gray and very plain looking. But her heart, mind, and soul, are worthy of any man’s heart. Gray comes to realize that Naomi is the one. Naomi starts to feel like a wanted woman with Gray. But can she trust her heart to him? Kelly Long’s short story felt believable. It wasnt like other Amish tales I’ve read. Most wouldn’t allow the things that each character did without a chaperone or without some kind of consequence. However, it was sweet, engaging, and heartfelt. Gray not only finds peace but love and healing, too. 

A Honeybee Christmas by Jennifer Beckstrand is another entertaining short story. I liked how one English woman left her way of life to raise her three nieces as Amish women. That took a lot of strength, determination, and power. Imagine leaving the life you have now, to live a plain simple one…I don’t think I could do it. I may enjoy it, but I would miss a lot of things. The writer brought an untraditional tale and still gave it a heart tugging feeling. I warmed up to the main characters. Overall, it was realistic and a great adventure. 

The Christmas Candle by Lisa Jones Baker is the last Amish tale inside this collection. I felt the Christmas holiday sweeping over me. The pages went by quickly. Excitement rushed through me as I read every page. Filling me with a sweetness that I couldn’t let go. The main characters were enjoyable to follow. Both having faith in God. This story was more traditional in the Amish setting than the previous tales before it. I really loved this one. Giving back to the community, learning to trust, and not giving up hope are great themes found, here. Lisa Jones Baker created a piece that I fell in love with…overall, I highly recommend reading The Christmas Candle to all. 

Review: An Amish Harvest

An Amish Harvest: Four Novellas by [Wiseman, Beth, Clipston, Amy, Fuller, Kathleen, Chapman, Vannetta]

 

Synopsis:

Faith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn.

Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman: When Naomi Dienner is suddenly widowed, she never expects to find love again . . . until she meets Brock Mulligan, an English family friend hired at harvest time. As a sinister presence begins to threaten Naomi, Brock seeks to prove himself trustworthy while struggling with growing feelings for Naomi and her children. Will God open Naomi’s heart—and give Brock his own second chance at love?

Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston: Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?

Mischief in the Autumn Air, by Vannetta Chapman When items start going above market value at his auction house, Eli Wittmer is first thrilled, and then puzzled. But when the house is broken into, Eli and his new bookkeeper, Martha Beiler track down a trail of clues. Will they solve the mystery before the fall festival ends—and discover an unexpected new love?

A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he’s different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love—and the blessing of God—be enough to overcome their doubters?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

An Amish Harvest by four talented writers is an amazing book for all. Inside are four beautifully written novellas for everyone to enjoy. Clean, emotional and heart melting reads. I love reading anything Amish fictional piece because they are truly an enjoyable story of hard work, family, and inspiring faith as well as love. Yes, I read plenty of novels that are much more detailed and a lot more dirty than this collection but I highly recommend this collection of stories to readers everywhere. These are stories readers can come back to time and time again. Stories that not just give off the good feelings but also teach and inspire readers worldwide.

Under the Harvest Moon by Beth Wiseman is the first Amish romance presented to readers. Instantly, I was hooked.  The story follows a young Amish woman who is married at the young age of seventeen. Her husband is well looked up to within her community and to her children. But he hits her when he’s angry. No one knew or so the wife thought. When he husband dies and she mourned his death for several months she decides it’s time to move on with her life. An Englisher comes into her life knocking her off her feet. Her children love the Englisher and want him as the daed. But, her Amish parents don’t want her to like him and she’s not ready to marry again. Will the harvest moon bring these two adults peace and love in their lives or will they only be friends? Beth Wilson’s writing has humor, faith, courage, and love. It was definitely entertaining to read it, especially when two young Amish girls tell their mom they want the Englisher as their daed right in front of him in their own tongue. Surprising the Englisher heard and understood every word they said…overall, I highly recommend reading this tale.

Love and Buggy Rides by Amy Clipston is the next story.  This Amish romance was perfect. I fell in love with the main characters right away. An Amish woman sitting outside having her lunch when she witnessed the crash happening right before her. She saw what the Englisher was doing…he wasn’t paying attention and crashed into the Amish buggy that carried several people. Everyone was shaky and injured including the Amish driver. Janie told her family that she witnessed it all. Her father forbids her to tell anyone. Her daed didn’t want her involved in the Englishers’ suing business. However, a threat of suing the buggy owner and firing the buggy driver come up forcing Janie to choose between betraying her daed or doing what she knows is right. Then there’s the budding romance that is building up between Janie and Jonathan. But her parents also forbid it for two reasons. Jonathan is a decade older than her and he might be moving back to his home. Can Janie and Jonathan find what they are looking for before it’s too late? Amy Clipston writing is superb. I finished reading the story within one sitting. Overall, I highly recommend reading this enchanting novella to all.

A Quite Love by Kathleen Fuller is the third novella within this superb book. Kathleen Fuller’s tale is unlike another Amish romance tale that I have read. This one is about two kind loving Amish souls who find friendship and love in one another. Sweet, addictive, and beautifully done. An Amish man has trouble with reading and remembering some stuff. Yet his talent for drawing is out of this world. Then with a young Amish woman’s help, he learns how to read well and how to do other things as well. Together they learn and fall deeper in love. A quite love falls upon them both. Is a wedding in their future? I highly recommend for readers everywhere to read about them. This novella has tugged at my heart and made me fall in love with each of the main characters. Overall, this was a must read.

Mischief in the Autumn Air by Vannetta Chapman is the last novella in this inspiring collection. This last story was unique as well. It was an Amish historical mystery. The tale ended up reuniting Amish people and creating new beginnings. An old argument between two former Amish friends soon led to a treasure map hunt. The treasure map hunt brought together a group of Amish and led them to find hope, peace, and new love. Vannetta Chapman brought a young man back to his Amish roots and finding work, then helping an older Amish aunt to get the medical help and for two workers to find a love to last a lifetime. Truly an entertaining and suspenseful read. Clean and heart melting too. Overall, I highly recommend this novella to readers everywhere.

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